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CHP observes Child Passenger Safety Week Sept. 19-25

CHP offers free child car seat inspections, clinics

Posted: September 17, 2010 2:45 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2010 2:45 p.m.
 

SACRAMENTO - The California Highway Patrol is marking National Child Passenger Safety Week Sept. 19-25 by educating the public about properly securing their most precious loved ones.

"One of the most important jobs you have as a caretaker is keeping a child safe when riding in a vehicle," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Whether it's a car seat, booster seat or seat belt, make sure you properly secure your children and yourself every time you get behind the wheel."

According to 2008 statistics -- the most recent year of finalized data -- of the 28 children younger than age six who were killed in vehicle collisions in California, 21 were not properly restrained.

California law requires that children be properly secured in the back seat in a child restraint system until they are at least six years old or 60 pounds.

Additionally, children under age 16 must be properly secured in either a child restraint system or seat belt.

CHP officers issue thousands of citations annually for child safety seat violations throughout California.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety, on the first offense, a child passenger violation will cost $445 with penalty assessments.

A second or subsequent offense carries a cost of $1,025.

If the parent is not in the vehicle, the driver gets the ticket.

"A child safety seat provides the best possible protection for children in the event of a crash," Farrow said. "But it's important to make sure that the seat children are riding in is properly installed and the one best suited for them based on age and size."

During this week, many CHP Area offices will offer free car seat inspections and have scheduled events on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Trained car seat technicians will demonstrate how to properly fit children in the seats and install the seats into cars.

Parents and caregivers can call their local area CHP office to find free clinics near them.

Residents may also visit the CHP website at chp.ca.gov and click on "Divisions and Offices" to find contact information.

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